Julia Barokov, MA, MFTLicensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

Learn Ways Holistic Therapy Can Help Your Anxiety

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rockridge Center in Oakland

Julia Barokov | Licensed marriage and family therapist in Rockridge area of Oakland.

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, but if you’re exhibiting symptoms of anxiety (such as excessive worry, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and insomnia) every day for several months, you may have an anxiety disorder that needs treatment.
 
Severe anxiety disorders are often treated with medications like antidepressants, SSRIs and MAOIs, but people with mild to moderate anxiety symptoms can often find some sort of relief through holistic and alternative anxiety treatments. Even though these methods are “natural,” it’s important to check with your doctor to determine if these treatments are safe for you. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, try these six natural ways to treat your anxiety symptoms.
 

1)  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate anxiety symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works by helping patients use new thinking skills to modify negative behaviors and thought patterns.
 

2)  Exercise

Exercise is more than just good for your body; it’s also good for your mind. Exercise helps to boost your mood by stimulating various feel-good brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Exercise also takes your mind off worries, boosts your energy level, promotes better sleep, and even improves your sex drive.
 

3)  Herbal Supplements

Studies show that some natural and herbal supplements can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety. Many of these natural supplements are safe alternatives to prescription medications; however, you should always consult a doctor before taking herbal and natural supplements because they may cause dangerous interactions with certain medications. Some of the most effective herbal supplements for treating anxiety symptoms are St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, passion flower, rhodiola (or roseroot) and valerian root. Kava is another herb that helps alleviate anxiety, but recent studies show it can produce liver damage if taken in large quantities. L-glutamine and L-histidine are two amino acids that help reduce stress and irritability, and the amino acid GABA has shown to positively affect the brain in relation to anxiety. There are also two naturally occurring compounds called 5-HTP and SAMe that studies have shown to be just as effective as many prescription antidepressants, making them some of the most popular natural antidepressants.
 

4)  Massage and Acupuncture

Many studies have proven the healing power of touch. Both massage and acupuncture help restore the body’s emotional balance by stimulating the flow of energy through specific points on the body. Both treatments are widely used to relieve stress, diminish muscle tension and improve sleep.
 

5)  Diet

Studies show that a healthy, balanced diet improves your mood in numerous ways. Anxiety symptoms can by greatly reduced by eliminating caffeine and alcohol and reducing your intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates and foods with additives and chemicals. Increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3s, an extremely healthy oil found in salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and other foods that has been shown to boost mood. Foods high in vitamin B, magnesium and calcium also help the nervous system to function properly. Also, try adding foods high in folic acid, which some studies suggest helps improve the effectiveness of antidepressants. Folic acid can be found in many vegetables, beans and whole-wheat products.
 

6)  Meditation

Simple meditation techniques can help you control your breathing and thoughts to help ease panic attacks.
 

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